Hoeven Statement on Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, who serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that both the U.S. Senate and House have approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act, a bipartisan agreement that will fund the U.S. federal government through 2014. The legislation now goes to the president for signature.
The legislation is the result of extensive bipartisan and bicameral negotiations and compromise. The measure sets discretionary spending levels $164 billion below the 2008 budget level, reducing expenditures from $1.176 trillion in 2008 to just over $1.012 trillion in 2014, according to Hoeven. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, 72 to 26, and in the U.S. House, 359 to 67.
“We have substantially reduced federal discretionary spending to address our deficit and debt, and at the same time, set priorities for North Dakota and the American people,” Hoeven said. “This bill makes our nation’s military stronger, our communities safer and our farmers and ranchers more productive, while reducing our spending to pre-2008 levels.”
Priorities that Senator Hoeven pushed for North Dakota include measures to retain America’s military strength; promote energy development; strengthen law enforcement on tribal lands; and support our farmers and ranchers.
Missile Silos: The omnibus also includes a Hoeven sponsored amendment that ensures the Air Force will retain all of its 450 Minuteman III silos, 150 of which are at Minot Air Force Base.
Global Hawk: The bill includes language authored by Hoeven that funds the entire Air Force Global Hawk fleet through Fiscal Year 2014. Senator Hoeven pressed for language that ensures both the Global Hawk Block 30 and Block 40 fleets be retained after budget pressures led to rumors that these aircraft could be eliminated later this year.
Military construction: Fully funds all three FY14 ND military construction projects (all at Minot AFB), including:
- $15.53 million for the new Aircraft Maintenance Unit facility
- $8.3 million for munitions storage igloos
- $6.4 million for fuel pipeline replacement
Stream Buffer Rule: Includes report language prohibiting the Stream Buffer Rule. Hoeven had introduced a bill prohibiting the implementation of the new rule.
- Includes $25 million for fuel cell program. The fuel cell program is focused on advancing clean, ultra-efficient technologies for the utilization of fossil fuels, in particular coal and natural gas. Used for research at EERC.
- Includes $15 million for unconventional research. Money will be used for important research supporting enhanced oil recovery and production using a smaller environmental footprint.
- Includes $20.6 million for Natural Gas Technologies, up from $14.5 million. Natural gas technology will play an important role in research and development to production and lessen the environmental footprint by helping to reduce flaring.
Water Bank: Includes $4 million for the Water Bank Program (WBP). WBP is a conservation program well suited to the needs of many ND farmers, particularly those in the Devils Lake Basin and Stump Lake Basin regions.
Agricultural Research – Senator Hoeven has continued to use his seat on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee to fight for strong agriculture research funding. The FY14 Omnibus includes a $74 million increase above FY13 enacted funding levels for NIFA, which is the program within USDA that supports research, extension, and higher education at America’s land-grant universities, like NDSU. The bill also includes an increase of $105 million above FY13 enacted funding levels for ARS, USDA’s in-house research agency and supports extramural research done at universities.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The omnibus bars postal officials from ending Saturday mail delivery or from closing rural post offices.
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Criminal Investigations and Police Services: Continues $16.5 million in funding secured by Hoeven for improving tribal law enforcement, including hiring, equipment, training, and anti-methamphetamine activities.
Spirit Lake Tribe Social Services: The omnibus includes language authored by Hoeven requiring the Bureau of Indian Affairs to report to the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction on the progress of its efforts and the adequacy of child placement and judicial review by the tribe and the BIA. The Secretary is directed to take all necessary steps to ensure that children at the Spirit Lake Reservation are placed in safe and secure homes.
Regional Information Sharing System (RISS): Includes $30 million for RISS to provide secure information and communication sharing services to combat multijurisdictional crimes.
Byrne Grants: Maintain $376 million to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education.
Border Security: Provides $10.6 billion for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a $110 million increase from FY13 enacted levels. This allows CBP to maintain its 21,370 Border Patrol agents, which is the highest staffing level in history. The bill also fully funds the E-verify workforce eligibility system at $114 million.
Impact Aid: Includes $1.3 billion to support school districts impacted by the presence of federal lands.
Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career & Technical Education: Includes $7.7 million for basic support for the education and training of American Indian students in programs like those at UTTC.
School Meals Report Language: In the report language is a provision that allows schools that certify they cannot operate a food service program under the new school meals or competitive foods regulations without incurring increased costs, may receive a waiver through the 2014-2015 school year, and may receive technical assistance from the Secretary.
? Obamacare: The FY14 Omnibus effectively freezes appropriations for Obmacare at the lower, post-sequester level. Further, the bill allocates the Health and Human Services Secretary’s $1 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund to prevention programs determined by the Appropriations Committee.
Contains additional Obamacare accountability measures:
- Increases funding for the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and requires the OIG to develop a plan on how it will conduct Obamacare oversight.
- Requires the HHS Secretary to include within its FY 2016 budget justification an analysis of how Obamacare will affect HHS programs that offer some types of preventative services that should be covered for free by the health insurance carrier as part of the essential benefits requirement.
- Contains a provision requiring HHS to publish a report on the Department’s website detailing how many federal employees and contractors it currently has and will employ in the future to implement provisions of Obamacare.
Airport Improvement Program (AIP): Maintains $3.35 billion to provide for the planning and development of public-use airports like Minot and Williston.
Essential Air Service (EAS): Includes $149 million to ensure that small, rural communities like Devils Lake and Jamestown have access to the national air transportation system.
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